02 July, 2001 - Caye Caulker Village
The 7th Annual Lobster fest was held over the weekend in Caye Caulker

The festivities started on Friday evening with the selection of Miss
Mary Donis as Lobster fest Queen 2001-2002.

At official opening ceremonies on Saturday morning, Attorney General
Hon. Godfrey Smith congratulated the fishermen for their excellent
stewardship of the Lobster industry over the last twelve months and said
the weekend event was a time to honor all fishermen.

"Lobster fest is our own distinctly Belizean thanksgiving," Smith told
the fishermen, villagers and visitors who flocked to Caye Caulker for
the annual event.

"It represents a coming together of the fishermen and residents of Caye
Caulker and indeed all of Belize and friends of Belize to celebrate and
give thanks for a successful harvesting season of lobster," he said.

The Attorney General ended by saying that Lobster is not only a most
delicious and appetizing dish, "but it is also a critical and important
foreign currency earner for Belize and a commodity prized in the
international markets."

Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Hon. Daniel Silva in a message on
the occasion of Lobster fest 2001 said that despite Hurricane Keith last
year, the fishing industry in a whole earned approximately $71 Million,
with the marine fisheries earning approximately $23 Million.

Minister Silva noted the spirit of cooperation among fishermen all over
Belize and reminded them that their network of support is about to get
even stronger with the transformation of the Fisheries Department into
the Belize Fisheries Development Authority. This move, the Minister
said, will better integrate the farmers, who are the main stakeholders
of the fisheries into its management of the industry.

Minister Silva called on all Belizeans to do their part in maintaining
the sustainability of the fishing industry by complying with the
fisheries laws. "If the laws are not respected that are put in place to
ensure the sustainability and success of the fishing industry, then we
cannot look forward to a bright future in fishing," said Minister Silva

The two-day Lobster fest is a collaborative effort of the Caye Caulker
Veteran's Football Club, the Village Council and the Business
Association of Caye Caulker.

It included display booths with information on the fishing industry,
entertainment and water sports, among other activities.